Will Michael Keane be recalled after being rested against Newcastle or did Kurt Zouma do enough to keep his place?
Everton look to bounce back from two hugely disappointing results and get back to winning ways tomorrow night when Watford come to town.
Marco Silva and Richarlison face their former club while Gerard Deulofeu could play his first game back at Goodison Park for the first time since he left 18 months ago in a game that could have an extra edge to it on that basis but which does not rise to the level of a modern rivalry as some have been trying to pitch it.
The two clubs are still locked in a legal dispute over Everton's courting of Silva just over a year ago when they were looking for Ronald Koeman's replacement and if there is any acrimony, much of it seems to be coming from the Watford faithful who have branded the Portuguese a snake for his role in the affair.
The Hornets' loss has been the Toffees' gain thus far, with the latter coming into the game looking to reclaim sixth spot on goal difference from Manchester United if they can win what would be their fifth at Goodison in six games, although Watford could draw level on points with Everton if they can grind out a win.
It would be their first victory in six attempts, though. Despite starting the season strongly, Javi Gracia's men have fallen away in recent weeks and they come to Merseyside on a three-game losing streak (although two of those were against the current top two teams in the Premier League).
Silva, meanwhile, will be trying to get more out of players than was the case in Wednesday's hiccup against Newcastle where, despite enjoying 74% of the possession, they only managed three shots on target and one goal. Watford promise to be more ambitious going forward than the Barcodes were, however, and that could work in the home side's favour, hopefully freeing up space for the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison to work in in the final third.
Given that a couple of the Everton manager's changes on Wednesday didn't set the world alight, it will be interesting to see what starting XI he opts for this time around. Cenk Tosun largely failed to convince on his return to the central striker's role while Ademola Lookman put on a hot-and-cold display that suggested he might still be suited to the role of impact substitute for the time being.
Silva could, therefore, either revert to the formation that was working at home by moving Richarlison back up front and recalling Walcott and Bernard to the flanks. Or he could try Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the centre-forward position and only bring one of the afore-mentioned wide men back.
In central defence, the usual conundrum of which two to pick from three in-form defenders will be vexing Silva and he could plump for more rotation by recalling Michael Keane to partner Yerry Mina having fielded Kurt Zouma in midweek.
Hopefully, the extra couple of days off afforded by this Monday night kick-off will have provided some of Silva's jaded-looking stars time to recuperate and refocus ahead of this game and the gruelling festive season that lies beyond.
While the top five are pulling away from the chasing pack, there are plenty of points on offer over the next four weeks that could see Everton consolidate their position in the top six and capitalise on any continuing uncertainty at Old Trafford where Manchester United under Jose Mourinho still lack conviction and consistency.
A home win would get the feel-good factor back among the Blues and the Goodison faithful in time for next weekend's daunting trip to the Etihad.
Kick-off: 8pm, Monday 10 December 2018
Referee: Kevin Friend
Last Time: Everton 3 - 2 Watford
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott, Richarlison
Reader Comments (78)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 09/12/2018 at 19:34:00
2 Posted 09/12/2018 at 19:47:46
Mind you, we did actually play crap... so maybe it was true.
This time, there can be no excuses. We need this win as Man City will be well up for it after the Chelsea defeat.
I would go with Lyndon's team apart from playing Calvert-Lewin up front with Walcott and Richarlison either side.
3 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:01:25
Might we start considering such trips as merely "challenging" Lyndon, or is it too soon to be fully shedding our tatty Kenwright (snake) skin?
4 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:02:48
5 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:23:56
I said similar after the Cardiff match, that playing Liverpool could be easier than playing the likes of Cardiff, because playing any of the top sides arguably suits us better now in that they attack more, which leaves us able to open them up more, as opposed to playing poorer sides who park the bus.
In each of those games so far, Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool, we've played some of our best football, rattling them and opening them up from midfield, albeit not finishing them off in front of goal.
6 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:26:51
There's a bit of doom with a sprinkling of gloom after the tepid afterbirth that was the Newcastle game. It was a reminder that if standards slip 5% the Premier League makes good teams medicocre ones. We were firmly mediocre last Sunday.
The derby game should finally have been flushed out of the system now and we can resume our dynamic playing style. I would stick to the previously proven formula (for now) of Bernard / Richarlison / Walcott starting .
An early goal will settle us and we can win this game 2 or 3-0.
It wouldn't surprise me if Watford got a man sent off. I just hope none of our lads are injured by the wild play that they will certainly bring to the table.
7 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:40:53
As people point out there is some consolation in that we have played most of our big away games, but I'd like to see a decent gap open up below us.
Important 3 points tomorrow please boys.
8 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:41:07
Give Lookman a run I say.
9 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:42:20
We are an average side verging on being very good with at least 3 additions so no amount of juggling the team (eg, Calvert-Lewin in or out) will change the results or final league placings.
I admire positivity but it's a league that susses out mediocrity nearly every week. Hang in there until January and push on from there. That doesn't mean taking a point off Man City and have them sniggering bastards have one hand on the trophy. England's number one has already opened the door for them!!
10 Posted 09/12/2018 at 20:43:20
11 Posted 09/12/2018 at 21:18:46
Spoiler alert: it was coz, astoundingly, Koeman stopped picking him!
"The 24-year-old claims he was never once given an explanation for being sidelined otherwise, he insists, he would have changed.
“For me, the change was that I was not playing,” he told the ECHO. “I am happy if I am playing, it's normal. If I'm not playing, I am not happy and I think the team can be better (if I am playing).”
Asked if Koeman explained his decision, Deulofeu replied: “No, no, no. I don't understand, I don't understand. That was why I left because, if I understand why I am playing, because of that, that, that, then I try to change but I don't understand how a player like me can be out of the squad in Everton and, after, Milan want to sign me. I don't understand this.
“I went to Milan and I showed what I am.”
He added: “I said to the coach, I wanted to leave and he said 'yes' because he didn't want me and preferred other players. But it was the chairman. The chairman was with me, he wanted me, I was his favourite player and I have to negotiate with him my transfer to Milan.
“I started the season (in the team) but after two or three games, it was really quick, I was out of the team.”
12 Posted 09/12/2018 at 21:19:25
I feel that a good performance tomorrow would set us up nicely for Man City where we have generally done okay. We can get something at Eastlands but will have to be at the top of our game.
Spurs are a bit hit-and-miss and present another opportunity if we are on form. Really looking forward to all 3 games.
I can't see Silva taking the same selection risks as he did against Newcastle and I agree with Lyndon's team. Walcott looked lively when he came on so, although I thought Lookman did okay at times, I don't think he will start.
13 Posted 09/12/2018 at 21:28:55
I'd have Richy back upfront for now too with Bernard back on the left.
14 Posted 09/12/2018 at 21:30:56
After tomorrow night's match, six of our ten remaining home matches will be against the current top six. Last season, we took two points out of eighteen from those fixtures. The extent to which we can improve on that tally will go a long way to determining our progress this season.
Our away results have been poor for over two years, whatever the quality of the opposition. Since Seamus scored the late winner at Palace in January 2017 we have managed only four away wins, three of those under Allardyce. If our home form suffers in the second half of the season, it will be essential to compensate by winning games away to teams in the lower half of the table.
15 Posted 09/12/2018 at 21:43:08
We have already failed to beat Huddersfield, West Ham and Newcastle at Goodison, we have been knocked out of the League Cup at home to Southampton, so I suggest we need to start getting momentum up as of tomorrow.
The next five games, if we have aspirations of challenging 6th place, should read.
Watford - WIN
Man City - LOSE
Spurs - DRAW
Burnley - WIN
Brighton - WIN
If we have aspiration to finish 7th or 8th then expect this
Watford - WIN
Man City - LOSE
Spurs - LOSE
Burnley - DRAW
Brighton - DRAW
Taking 10 points instead of 5 points over this batch of festive fixtures could be huge in the context of the final finishing place.
Let's see if Everton can rise to the occasion though.
16 Posted 09/12/2018 at 21:50:19
With all the Top 6 to come to Goodison we will do well to get points from any of them, so it's imperative we win at the likes of Fulham, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Southampton, Burnley etc. That's were our points will come from for the rest of the season.
17 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:01:10
We finished 5th in 2013-14 under Roberto with a whopping 21 victories from 38 games (a record win total in the Premier League for us) so that tells you the level required.
We need a greater win conversion rate and start getting more mini winning runs, we need a spell of back to back wins.
Wins get you up the table, not draws.
18 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:03:54
Given the number of chances that we have passed up in every game so far, we could have actually won every one of them. But the reality is we haven't and we simply need to get clinical in front of goal. Do that and I think we will comfortably make at least 6th place. However, if we don't we may well be lucky to make 8th.
19 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:24:19
God forbid if we start getting a few injuries as I think we have been very lucky on the injury front so far this season.
20 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:25:58
I think Brands and Silva will be bang on to this in January.
An injury to Richarlison would quite simply kill us dead.
21 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:37:42
22 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:40:23
23 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:43:07
24 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:52:52
We have to get goals from places other than Sigurdsson and Richarleson.
It should be a good games as they are an attacking team which will suit our game.
25 Posted 09/12/2018 at 23:21:32
I think he comes off the bench and his trickery and quick feet add a threat but he doesn't seem to have a real set position on the pitch for me, he's got quick feet but too little end product at the end of it apart from running into blind alleys a bit.
If I was Silva, I'd go right back to the team of November time and that's with Richarlison starting striker, Bernard left, Walcott right and if need be get Lookman on with 30 minutes left.
26 Posted 09/12/2018 at 23:39:09
Jim, we have to win tomorrow first. Tricky game but they will come to play so Id expect opportunities.
27 Posted 09/12/2018 at 23:42:35
I am certain Marco will be looking for a target man with size and pace in the future. I would put Calvert-Lewin as centre-forward as, sooner or later, he will be the man.
28 Posted 09/12/2018 at 23:46:41
That would be either Bernard or Lookman on the right, the rest of the team more-or-less picks itself.
Like some posters have alluded, Watford have a tendency to blow hot and cold but, with the situation regarding Marco Silva, it could add some extra spice to the occasion.
Come on blues, blow the cobwebs off from the disappointing result from the last two matches, and sting the Hornets where it hurts.
29 Posted 09/12/2018 at 23:53:40
In my view Lookman is a luxury player. Bernard is a luxury player. Can both play? Yes, if our coach is bold.
Unlike you, Jim, I think Tosun has a role to play but it would require a major rethink. No-one on this site has supported Seamus more than me, absolutely no one, but I feel tha,t if Calvert-Lewin or Tosun start, Kenny must start. The right of the team is weak.
30 Posted 10/12/2018 at 00:11:08
After the Man City and Spurs games we have a good run of games where there are points to be won. It won't be easy cos it's the Premier League and we're Everton – nothing is easy with us – but there are points.
31 Posted 10/12/2018 at 06:55:07
32 Posted 10/12/2018 at 07:06:51
33 Posted 10/12/2018 at 07:11:21
The pressure and unrealistic expectations of the Goodison faithful play a part in any game... It can't be easy for players to feel confident when the supporters are so fickle...
The loss against the Red Shite was a kick in the gut but most fans seemed happy with the performance; shame the Newcastle game set us back... AGAIN.
Watford will come with no fear so I expect, unless we settle early with a goal, the crowd will become restless... same old same old.
34 Posted 10/12/2018 at 07:32:56
Oh and in other news: Richarlison is being linked with a summer move to Barcelona. We can't get five mins of peace, can we, before someone tries to derail our season.
My thoughts, and you heard it here first, they will want Richarlison in a swap deal for Gomes, probably.
35 Posted 10/12/2018 at 08:08:10
I personally think Barcelona will try and get Salah from that lot, they have form of prising players from Liverpool and I think they'll be looking at a 30-goal forward once Messi eventually slows down.
36 Posted 10/12/2018 at 08:21:25
Anyways, I hope we stuff Watford tonight. 3-0 I'm predicting.
37 Posted 10/12/2018 at 09:09:34
38 Posted 10/12/2018 at 09:30:38
39 Posted 10/12/2018 at 09:53:41
I do think he'll need to show consistency over a 2-3 year period though, but I wouldn't be surprised if Barca requested first dibs on him as part of the ongoing Gomes negotiations.
40 Posted 10/12/2018 at 10:21:28
He seemed confused and there was zero link up with Seamus. I am not sure he is a winger at all. May be happier in the position that Sigurdsson is playing now. Siggy has had two poor games and could do with a rest.
41 Posted 10/12/2018 at 10:24:25
Baines to give Digne a rest in this game.
Coleman (c) Keane Mina Baines
Lookman Sigurdsson Richarlison
Subs: Stekelenburg, Zouma, Digne, Davies, Bernard, Walcott, Calvert-Lewin.
42 Posted 10/12/2018 at 10:30:34
43 Posted 10/12/2018 at 10:43:01
44 Posted 10/12/2018 at 11:12:38
Regardless what many say is better attacking play this season, I still don't feel that we work enough shots on goal and force enough saves from the opposing goalkeeper.
45 Posted 10/12/2018 at 11:19:36
So the result and performance will be a good indicator of where we are as a team. Scrape a win, or worse a draw, then it's a case of here we go again.
I would stick with Bernard as I think once he actually gets used to the pace of the Premier League, then he will be a little cracker. The guy has talent, look at Rudiger trying to get him sent off. You wouldn't bother if he was crap. We still need an end result from him though. we need to show some serious attacking intent.
46 Posted 10/12/2018 at 11:37:57
47 Posted 10/12/2018 at 11:57:29
48 Posted 10/12/2018 at 12:08:30
Imo, Lookman has to start; you can't expect the lad to earn and lose his place in one game. He's been banging on the door and Theo hasn't been good enough. Lookman now needs at least 5 or 6 starts to prove his worth.
49 Posted 10/12/2018 at 12:19:10
With the exception of Richarlison and Sigurdsson our goal return from the rest of the team is very average, and Silva commented before the Newcastle game about needing his wide players to score more frequently than they are at present.
If there is a problem with this team, it is they are not clinical enough in and around our opponent's box. Either the final pass is poor or players looking to make an extra pass rather than shoot, and on occasions, the failure to hit the target with excellent chances have cost us points already this season.
50 Posted 10/12/2018 at 12:19:35
51 Posted 10/12/2018 at 12:21:54
Lookman has talent, and yeah, he needs a run of games, but is he really any good? None of us know, and in the Premier League you need to be on-it, up & running, ready to play, and not just be a 'maybe' player. There's not time to bed-in, no time to get good enough, you have to BE good enough.
The pressure is high, the stakes are high, the money-men are always looking over players & managers shoulders in football these days, and that boils right the way down to what individual players do during games. Lookman so far hasn't done anything, but then you go back to his game time, or lack of it, which as I say, isn't something a manager can gamble on.
With all of that in mind, Walcott is a safer bet to start, but you never know.
52 Posted 10/12/2018 at 12:41:34
To be honest I agree with you.
I think Lookman has got talent and some skill but he hasn't exactly set the world alight in his time here.
I have no idea how many minutes he's played in total at Everton since he signed but I know he's only scored ONE league goal.
I think Walcott has lost form/confidence and the wonderful early season momentum he had has disappeared but I believe he had a personal bereavement at some stage so that might explain why the lad's mind has been elsewhere at times.
If I was a manager, I can understand why you'd probably trust Walcott more than Lookman starting matches. Lookman for me is still an impact sub for the last half hour and he's too erratic to start games at the moment.
We need to keep in mind too that at right-back Seamus Coleman is not having the best of times and is nowhere near the confident, free-running, swashbuckling fullback he was four or five years ago so that's having a knock-on effect on what's happening with our right winger also.
53 Posted 10/12/2018 at 12:47:32
54 Posted 10/12/2018 at 13:00:26
He looked great when we first got him, but then to me he seemed gassed by half-time if he was starting, or unable to change things if brought on. He's had some big clubs on his CV already, but there's a reason why he's not at one.
55 Posted 10/12/2018 at 13:01:01
Geri will definitely get a sound reception there's no doubt.
It's too early to really run judgment on Bernard in my opinion. There's obvious talent there but I think he needs to be a bit better when he's in the box and he won't win too many prizes for his shooting either.
Delboy frustrated the life out of me but at times he could be devastating and that cross for Funes Mori to score at Chelsea in 2016 is still one of the finest moments of sumptuous brilliance I've witnessed.
Hopefully Bernard will start to get himself involved a bit more and start finding a clinical end-product.
56 Posted 10/12/2018 at 13:16:16
I definitely think he should have stayed with us, remembering how young he was, and comparatively new to the Premier League, he did have a certain creativity about him.
Of course the big criticism about him, was that he seldom dropped back to help out the defence, but bearing in mind, the changes in Manager and coaching at the time coupled with his inexperience, he could 'retrospectively' have been a useful squad member. I think as he has matured he would realise dropping back to assist in defence is part of the requirements in the modern game.
He definitely had a goal or two in him, a propensity for scoring which I hope he doesn't repeat tonight! The only other aspect of his career, which has been shown at Watford, is he seems to be a bit injury prone.
57 Posted 10/12/2018 at 13:36:39
I have also read elsewhere that their captain Troy Deeney will 'smash' Richarlison off the pitch when the teams meet later tonight, so hopefully a Red Card in the first few minutes for pre-meditated thuggery!
58 Posted 10/12/2018 at 15:28:22
My lord: 2 left-backs, 3 centre-backs, 1 right-back, 1 right-winger (with zero pace), 2 centre-midfielders, and 1 small striker.
We may complain about our lack of a 'goal-scorer', but thank the lord those dark days are behind us.
Expect us to win today in what should be a good game. Expect Watford to be more expansive than Newcastle were, which should work to our advantage. 3-1.
59 Posted 10/12/2018 at 15:50:16
2001 was an absolutely disastrous year for Everton.
Three home derby matches lost at home (including 3-0 to Tranmere) and, to make it worse, Liverpool won 3 trophies.
60 Posted 10/12/2018 at 15:53:53
I think it will take all of this season for Bernard to get used to the Premier League. We have seen over the years talented players come into the Premier League and struggle at first then in their second season really show their talent.
I am hoping that's what we will see from Bernard but, for now, I would play Lookman on the left, Richarlison in the middle, and Walcott on the right.
61 Posted 10/12/2018 at 15:59:20
Unless Silva can cajole this Everton team to jump out of the blocks early, we may be in for another frustrating night.
Part of a good manager's personality is getting his team to ''rebound''...
62 Posted 10/12/2018 at 16:27:43
The kind of game I watch and wish they allowed fighting like hockey.
This is going to be a stern test in the end I fear.
I also fear Richarlison and Bernard will need to keep their heads.
63 Posted 10/12/2018 at 16:38:31
64 Posted 10/12/2018 at 17:00:00
Hopefully Watford will have a go at us, else it could be another frustrating 90 mins tonight.
65 Posted 10/12/2018 at 17:01:48
I think you could be right. A big strong side, Watford... who will trouble us from set pieces. If we match their aggression, we should be okay.
66 Posted 10/12/2018 at 17:24:21
This will be just as tough as Newcastle but we desperately need a cutting edge. We are too reliant on Sigurdsson and Richarlison... we need Walcott to deliver and we need to get Gomes further forward.
67 Posted 10/12/2018 at 17:55:32
It also means we don't have Gomes deep on the ball, we have a more limited player whose best qualities are in defence, not passing and this player will be the one who is on the ball the most. We don't have David Luiz.
Three at the back is shite. It only works if you have Beckenbauer. We don't. Save it for parking the bus.
Keep the balance and play 4-2-3-1. It's been working. And Digne doesn't need a rest. He just struggled on a very wet and slippery surface.
Those not at the game, it was that horrible drizzle rain last week, after raining all day long any people kept slipping all game long. It meant finesse players couldn't stroke the ball like they wanted and their delivery was off.
There was no fatigue to Digne's play. He got up and down better than Baines can. Digne could play a full 90 and still have more left in the tank than a fresh Baines. I loved Baines as much as anyone, but he's a spent force now. He's going to get a game or two over the coming weeks and the drop off in quality will be evidence for all to see.
Gotta stick with 4-2-3-1. I'd keep Lookman on for Walcott who had a knock and keep Walcott fresh for Spurs. I'd play Richarlison on the left with Bernard on the bench with a view to bringing him on to rest Sigurdsson if we get a comfortable lead.
Up top, I'd go with Calvert-Lewin who has the height and physicality to cause problems and create space for the two wider forwards to exploit.
68 Posted 10/12/2018 at 17:59:38
I would much sooner see the impact of our play further up the pitch and, although I criticise Bernard for his lack of composure in the penalty area, would like to see him and Lookman either side of Richarlison tonight.
I might also give Digne a rest after the battering he took against Newcastle.
69 Posted 10/12/2018 at 18:06:12
Just picking up on you saying about Digne not performing as we are used to seeing him due to a slippery wet surface.
Where were you last Friday for the Midland meeting with Mike Gaynes? I know you said you wouldn't be there till after 7 o'clock but we stayed till near 10 in the end!
70 Posted 10/12/2018 at 18:09:18
I didn't even read your post. I was just happy to see you post.
I thought you were sick or dead FFS.
71 Posted 10/12/2018 at 18:17:02
I am, however, in opposition to having Bernard on the bench... I just can't ever agree to a player with such a skill should ever not play barring injury I'd actually play Bernard as a 10 with Richarlison on the left and Walcott up top.
72 Posted 10/12/2018 at 18:22:26
I would simply drop Benard to the bench and have five across the back, leaving Gana, Gomes and Sigurdssonin midfield with Walcott and Richarlison up top.
Plenty of flexibility in there to bolster midfield and attack at the right moments; if we fail to find a way through, it still leaves us the option of taking off Zouma and introducing Bernard or Calvert-Lewin.
73 Posted 10/12/2018 at 18:31:01
74 Posted 10/12/2018 at 18:51:42
75 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:02:41
76 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:15:03
Since 6-7 games in the defence has been excellent. Not just the back 4, but from back to front, as the team defends as a unit.
Changing to a back three changes that dynamic, to the detriment of the team elsewhere.
Is the call for a back three based on wishing to accommodate 3 centre-backs of similar ability? If so, it's misplaced logic for me. Yes, it's tough that one of them misses out on selection, but that's the nature of their chosen profession.
Based on performances this season, Keane would always play for me (except when being rested on rotation) and Zouma would be his prefered partner.
Mina has done okay and I expect him in time to cement his place in the team, but he hasn't hit the heights expected of him yet for me. Personally, I was astounded he was awarded MotM on his debut at Chelsea.
On Silva reverting back to his prefered XI in recent weeks, I think Bernard is lucky to get the nod over Lookman or Calvert-Lewin tonight.
One thing is for sure: however we get them, we need the 3 points tonight to maintain momentum.
77 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:22:21
78 Posted 10/12/2018 at 19:37:18
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.